What is Red Tag Strategy in 5S, its Application and Implementation Method
RED TAG STRATEGY is part of the structured implementation of 5S in 1S – Sort out or Seiri. It is also called a Red Tag Tactic.
5S and Lean thinking is used as a combination. For an efficient workplace, it is necessary to have an organized workplace. For the organized workplace, it is necessary to have a right foundation by strategizing what should be available in every location of workplace covered under 5S implementation in Applied 5S methodology popularized by Seven Steps Academy of Excellence, Red Tag strategy is given more importance as one of the preliminary steps along with 5S promotion office and initial awareness.
Related Article– Implementation of Applied 5S in Service Organisations
In organizations, for the operations to work efficiently and to meet the customer requirements, it is necessary to ensure the following.
- Right items
- Right place
- Right Quantity
- Right way
- Right time
- Right price.
- Right quantity.
- Right tool
However, in a real-life situations, many of the above objectives are not always fulfilled. This results in various challenges for smooth operations. One common and proven solution is to apply 5S in a systematic way.
Common scenarios in organizations where Red Tag strategy is not planned or put in to practice.
- No clarity on what items are allowed in a specific location.
- Too many unwanted items scattered all around.
- People cannot find the most needed items instantly (Max: 30 seconds to find out the required items).
- Key locations are cluttered not allowing the important items to be in accessible locations.
- Uncontrolled WIP, RM, FG
- Flooding of aisles and pathways. It occupies valuable space
- Difficult to get required items on time
- Mixes good and bad items
- Creates frustration/de-motivates people
- Cost ( nothing comes free!)
- Accountability problem
- Accumulation of dust/dirt
Red tag strategy is a means of categorizing and labeling all unneeded items with red tag ( defined by the industry )
- This is a vital sorting technique
- As soon as an unnecessary item is identified, it is marked with a red tag so that anybody can see clearly what needs to be discarded
Before even starting to deploy 1S, we recommend to create a good Red Tag Strategy as follows.
To identify and categorize the items based on criteria and taking suitable actions as per the guidelines
Broad guidelines of Red Tag Strategy covers the following:
- Not Needed any more
- Needed But Not So Much Quantity
- Needed But Not Here
- Needed But Not Now
- Items that are not fit for use
Example of unnecessary items
- Raw material/WIP/Finished parts
- Tools, Machines, Chairs, Tables, Computers
- Documents, files
- Stationery –Excess and not used
- Old dairies, visiting cards, books
In a practical sense, RED Tag is put on the items which qualify for attention. The general thinking of people who jump-start implementation of 5S without understanding the thought process and basics is that RED tag is something that should be put on items that needs to be discarded or not useful or lost its value. In fact, when we consider the application of RED TAG Strategy in a Jewellery making company, even Gold blocks Weighing to the tune of a few tons can also be RED Tagged
The significant need for RED Tag Strategy is as follows:
- It should be prepared for each zone based on the items normally expected or allowed in the specific zone.
- It should be aligned to Lean thinking/ Just in time methodologies.
- It should be periodically reviewed and refined to get optimum storage needs and operations requirements.
- There should be a consensus on what items to be stored, how much quantity to be stored and how it should be stored for each item.
- Decide what items must be allowed in the zone
- What quantity is allowed in that zone
One word of caution: You also should handle common excuses for not discarding un-necessary items
Some of them are:
- “All are required and usable”
- “ I may need it later”
- “We can alter and use it”
- “This can be used for packing other items”
- “If I get another cap, I can use this pen”
Seven Steps Academy of Excellence is a member of Seven Steps Group company. We conduct training programmes on 5S for office and banking sectors both as a public training programme and in-house training programme. Handholding and facilitation in the workplace is done through their group company Seven Steps Business Transformation Systems. Our lean office and 5S consultants specialized in banking sector helps organisations in strategizing 5S implementation and effective deployment for sustenance.
For further inputs on road maps, case studies and how we can further support you in 5s implementation in your organisation, please write to us through the contact form.
Seven Steps academy also conducts other training programmes such as Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Lean Six Sigma black belt, Lean Six Sigma Master black belt, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt, Lean Office and banking, Lean Daily work management systems, Lean 5S etc., for service industry which includes Hospitals, retail, insurance, education, front office operations, government services such as passport office, railways, bill processing, call centres, toll operations, colleges, municipal corporation offices, collector offices etc.,